It’s hard to believe that Hailey Clauson made her SI Swimsuit debut back in 2015. The franchise staple appeared in five consecutive issues before taking a break to jump-start some new ventures. The 2022 issue marks her triumphant return.
“It’s so much fun to be back;” says Clauson. “I feel like I’ve grown so much in the last few years [just] in terms of who I am as a woman so it feels so good to be back in the magazine representing who I am today.”
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The 27-year-old has added a few titles to her resume of late, wearing the hats of model, photographer, creative director and partner at a boutique modeling agency she founded in Los Angeles. Clauson wants other models to know that they can use their experience in the industry to catapult success for other dreams or professional aspirations they may have.
“I think it’s really important for models to know that this is a business and a stepping stone to many more opportunities,” she says. “We make so many amazing connections and meet so many great people [in this industry] so we need to see this as an opportunity to do other things that we want to do outside of just being the traditional model.”
For Clauson, those “other things” are less forward-facing than some of the entrepreneurial roles her fellow SI Swimsuit models have taken on such as building their own swimwear or jewelry brands. “I have found in the last few years that I’m a behind-the-scenes girl,” she explains. “I always thought that I would always be in front of the camera because I love modeling, but I’m loving working on creative direction and photography, which I am doing with my boyfriend–we’re like a photography and creative direction duo. Being able to do that in a bigger way would be a dream. That and being a part of this agency, doing all that…I want to be on the other side of the fashion industry and make the change that I want to see.”
Yes, you read that right. Clauson is working with her photographer boyfriend. On working with your partner, she has a few key pieces of advice: make sure to find a balance where you have some time and space for yourself; [practice] honesty and transparency; and find a partner who you can truly call your best friend.